Movie Review: Kabali

Vidhya R, III Year B. Comm.

I was among those students who missed college on the 22nd of July to celebrate Kabali Day in its true spirit. I am a 90s girl, born and brought up in Chennai, so being a Rajinikanth fan-girl is a given.

The movie opens with Kabali being released from jail, after serving a 25-year term. The first fifteen minutes of the film is full of “Neruppu Da” moments, giving you enough reasons to damage your throat and lungs. But after that, the Director (Pa Ranjith of ‘Madras’ fame) digs deeper into the plot and the narrative slows down.

Kabali is an ageing gangster in Malaysia who fights against the oppression of Tamil migrants in Malaysia. The flashback portion delves into his rise from a layman to a leader of the local community and depicts his love for his wife Kumudhavalli (played by Radhika Apte).

Rajini owns the movie and carries both the looks with great panache. Every time he uttered a punch dialogue, or even walked for that matter, the impact was immense, making the crowd go berserk. The surprise element in the movie is the endearing chemistry between the lead pair. Radhika Apte looks like a goddess throughout the film and plays her part to perfection. The scene before the ‘Maya Nadhi’ song displays her acting calibre brilliantly.

A special mention to Dhansika and Attakathi Dinesh who deliver staggering performances and ensure they stay in the minds of the audience when they walk away. Santhosh Narayanan renders a decent album and the songs merge smoothly with the story line.

However, I felt that the role of the main antagonist Tommy Lee (portrayed by Winston Cho) was a let-down. His character was not strong enough to take on the ‘Superstar’. It could have definitely been better written with more dimensions

Having said all of this, Kabali is a movie that has been made giving a strong character for the role of ‘Kabali’. But we cannot separate the Superstar from Kabali, thereby increasing the expectations that we have from each scene. This prevents the movie from having a smooth flow which the film lovers expect. Superstar fans (read: fanatics) would love the film hands down but purists would nit-pick.


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